Top 3 benefits of flexible working
This week businesses are encouraged to recognise flexible working and celebrate its benefits, with the official awareness day on 6th May 2016. For this year's Flexible Working Awareness Day, we're highlighting the benefits of flexible working for businesses - here are our top 3:
1. Reduces absenteeism costs
Employees are balancing many commitments alongside work, from children and carer responsibilities, to doctor appointments and fitness classes. Flexible working supports employees’ quality of life by giving them the freedom to work around their family, personal and social commitments. Businesses are increasingly finding employees attending work despite feeling under the weather. Enabling staff to work from home, if they are able to, can reduce the risk of illness spreading in the office which can reduce absenteeism and cost of replacement lower.
Supporting carers in the workforce is becoming a topical matter within the HR industry. By 2020, one in nine UK workers will be a carer, be it for a disabled person, an elderly relative or someone seriously ill. It’s therefore important for businesses to support staff by providing the flexibility to work around carer responsibilities, minimising the strain and chances of taking time off work.
2. Increases productivity
The pressure of balancing work with other commitments impacts employees’ wellbeing, resulting in them feeling stressed and less productive. Alongside this, it’s natural for employees to rush their work if they have to leave for a health check-up or collect their children. Flexible working can increase productivity as it supports employees work-life balance. It doesn’t have to be working from a different location, but offering staff the opportunity to work flexible hours around their needs.
3. Expands your talent pool
Flexible working gives businesses access to a larger pool of talent, so they can choose the candidate they want, regardless of their location. Businesses that offer flexible working could consider expanding their recruitment criteria to include additional locations, increasing the potential of finding top talent. Due to advances in technology employees’ location is no longer so restrictive, making it easier for staff to work from home or dial in remotely.
Flexible working is a popular benefit amongst all employees, making it a real asset to businesses benefits package. Whether employees need flexibility to drop off and collect their children, attend a gym class during their lunch break or have caring responsibilities – flexible working can help businesses encourage a positive work-life balance, reducing employees stress and boosting productivity.
 Mercer, 2016